People and companies cannot always answer their own phones. In times of need, they turn to one of the many different types of Answering Service available.
The most commonly used type of service used today is voice mail. A similar service to this is an answering machine. Voice mail is a service that directs callers to a system that records a message. Once the message is left, the phone line owner is given a notification that a message has been left. The owner then has to call in to the voice mail server and retrieve the message.
An internet answering service is similar to that of voice mail. There are a few differences between the two, though. One is that the messages are retrieved in an inbox similar to e-mail online. Some services even offer to transcribe the voice mail messages so that the user can read messages when they are not able to listen. This is convenient for those that would like to see if it is an important message. This internet voice mail also allows users to select their preferences on the website.
A live Answering Service is where a human answers the phone for you and takes a message. This is sometimes one person or a staff of people available to answer your calls when you are away. This is good for those times when there is an urgent message, because you leave a number or e-mail for the service to send you important messages. The messages that are not urgent usually get sent in mass when you are available again.
The last option is a call center. This is an option for businesses that need someone to answer calls at all times and have clients taken care of immediately. This would probably not be an option for an individual and is more often recommended for large businesses expecting large call volumes. This option really helps businesses stand up to their reputations as being customer oriented.
When a person or business needs an answering service, they have many options. It can be as simple as voice mail or as all-encompassing as a call center. This all depends on the needs of the individual or business.